6 arrested in New Jersey human trafficking case

LAKEWOOD, N.J. - July 18, 2013

Officials say the ring was part of a network of brothels in New York and surrounding states that paid people to smuggle the women, often under the guise that they would work as house cleaners or baby sitters.

State prosecutors say 38-year-old Jose Romero-Flores of Lakewood operated several brothels in the Ocean County town. Romero-Flores is charged with human trafficking.

His girlfriend is accused of assisting him in the operation of the brothels and four men are charged with conspiracy to commit human trafficking.

Acting Attorney General John Hoffman says the arrests are the first under a new state law that carries tougher penalties.

The suspects were identified as:

Jose Cruz Romero-Flores, 38, aka "Chato," was arrested on Thursday, July 11, at his apartment on River Avenue in Lakewood on charges of first-degree human trafficking, second-degree promoting organized street crime, and third-degree promoting prostitution.

Romero-Flores's girlfriend, Odulia Bedran Trejo, 22, was arrested on Sunday, July 14, at Romero-Flores's apartment on charges of second-degree promoting organized street crime and third-degree promoting prostitution.

Felix Rios-Martinez, 47, of Lakewood, was charged with first-degree conspiracy to commit human trafficking, second-degree promoting organized street crime, and third-degree promoting prostitution.

Haliro Bueno, 21, of Lakewood, was charged with second-degree conspiracy to commit human trafficking, second-degree promoting organized street crime, and third-degree promoting prostitution.

Raul Romero-Castillo, 30, of Lakewood, was charged with first-degree conspiracy to commit human trafficking, second-degree promoting organized street crime, and third-degree promoting prostitution.

Santos Lazaero Flores-Cruz, 58, of Union City, was charged with second-degree conspiracy to commit human trafficking, second-degree promoting organized street crime, and third-degree promoting prostitution.

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